* Serves as a consultant when difficulties with lactation are beyond the knowledge and/or training of the health care provider.
* Consults, develops and implements lactation plans of care.
* Serves as a liaison and/or facilitator between the community and hospital providing ongoing expertise, education and support to groups and individuals.
* Provides a communication link between the hospital and health care provider's office to assure coordination of patient care and maintains communication with health care providers concerning patients experiencing lactation and breastfeeding problems.
* Demonstrates appropriate assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation based on stages of life and developmental status.
* Educates patients, families and health care team members. Provides education for mothers and family in correct lactation management.
* Develops and implements ongoing lactation educational program annually on lactation for the healthcare team. Participates in lactation program development and implementation.
* Works with the appropriate shared governance structure on issues relating to lactation.
* Participates in development of policies, procedures, algorithms and guidelines specific to lactation practice at site and system levels.
* Collects data, identifies, monitors and evaluates quality and safety issues related to practice.
* Maintains phone consultation system for lactation questions and problems.
* Represents the lactation department at unit/system/community meetings.
* Evaluates and integrates research findings into lactation practice.
* Maintains current knowledge of lactation research and reflects this knowledge in current lactation practice. Participates in lactation research projects.
* Pursues continuing education relevant to lactation consultant practice including reading current professional journals, participating in workshops, seminars, in-service programs, conferences, accredited courses, and professional organizations.
The staff Registered Nurse (RN) is a professional caregiver who assumes responsibility for a group of patients for a designated time frame and provides care to these patients via the utilization of the nursing process, nursing trends, technology, financial and human resources within the philosophy of the institution. The Lactation Consultant serves as the Hospital's expert resource on human lactation. Facilitates the development and maintenance of skills necessary to insure optimal care of the breastfeeding dyad. Utilizes the critical thinking in the delivery of patient care including assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of patient outcomes. Revises plans of care as indicated. The Lactation Consultant functions as a member of the multi-disciplinary healthcare team as a consultant, educator, and mentor to patients, nurses, and healthcare professionals.